No School Opening In Sight For Sumner County - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

No School Opening In Sight For Sumner County

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SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. - There is no indication when public school classes will begin in Sumner County, despite an additional $2.2 million appropriation by the County Commission.

Commissioners approved the funding Monday, but schools officials had said they needed $7.6 million additional dollars to operate the school system.

The Sumner County School Board voted late last week to delay the start of school since they didn't get the budget they wanted.

Director of Schools Del Phillips said he isn't sure what will happen next, but does not know at this point when schools will open. Classes had been scheduled to start Monday.

As commissioners passed the additional funding, they added an amendment that if schools did not open immediately, they would contact state education officials or file suit to force school officials to open them.

Phillips said no special board meetings are scheduled to respond.

Commissioner Joe Matthews called the stalemate a political move by the board of education.

During the meeting several parents, students, and school district employees addressed commissioners; the majority of whom pleaded for them to fund the schools. County commissioners debated and voted on five proposals that ranged from a 14 cent property tax increase to eliminating pay for commissioners and school board members but each failed.

Some argued that the property tax increase will be the only long term solution to the problem, but others said they don't want to raise taxes in the current economy.

Parents said they will keep fighting to get the schools fully funded and open.

At the County Building, a number of parents and teachers rallied about half-an-hour ahead of that meeting.

Sibyl Reagan organized the rally and invited a few people on Facebook. Around lunch time Monday there were more than 500 people who said they would attend the rally.

Reagan said the idea of the school board making any more cuts than they already have is unacceptable.

"We have made cuts. We have made cuts for years and years and the county commission has asked us to cut funds. We cut funds last year. There reaches a point where you can no longer without really doing damage," she explained.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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